April 10, 2011

The Old Man and the Mailbox

In a house all alone
On a street made of stone
Lives a rickety, feeble old man

It's a ramshackle home
From the basement to dome
For it's stood there since history began

Though he's weak in the knees
From arthritic disease
And his body is fragile and frail

Every day like a clock
He limps down the long walk
To check his old mailbox for mail

And I watch him each day
In the regular way
As he pulls down the rusty old door

Peeking in with one eye
He lets out a sad sigh
For its empty as always before

To make him feel better
I wrote out a letter
Then stamped it and sent it his way

I waited that morning
But had not a warning
That he wouldn't be there that day

For the man with a cane
Who lives just down the lane
Had departed this rickety place

Left his house standing bare
As that old mailbox where
He would venture each day — just in case


Wesgrey said...

Nice...quaint...almost great. Stretch it like flubber, bounce it around on the cobblestone some more and see if the wrinkles work themselves out.

Add description to the home in line 1.
"In a rickety house alone" is more descriptive than "In a house all alone".

Leave out the "the" in line 5 and shorten line 6. "For it's stood there since history began" has too many words. Less is more. "There since history began." or "From before history ever began."

"Every day like a clock
He limps the long walk
Checking old box for new mail."

Counting sylables in each line and then design equal meter, especially in rhyming lines.

Mark Zellner said...

Wes, thanks for your comments! I appreciate your suggested revisions, but in many cases they rather disrupt the syllable count, which is roughly 6-6-9 most times. However I'm glad to know you are interacting with my pieces! Best to you, Mark